June 03, 2019
With Eagles personnel chief Joe Douglas looking like he may be making a move up the New Jersey Turnpike to run the show for the New
Jersey York Jets, maybe it's worth taking a look at the Eagles' drafts during his tenure? Maybe not? Not sure.
The Eagles are thought to have an excellent front office, made up of the wheeling and dealing Howie Roseman, a draft board-setting "football guy" in Douglas, analytics nerds with unlimited resources provided by the owner, and a scouting staff that people in the business think is the best in the NFL. The Eagles love promoting the idea that it's a collaborative effort, and for the most part, that's probably true.
Therefore, if you were to ask me who "stood on the table" any of the Eagles' picks over the last four years, with a few exceptions (Sidney Jones is a classic Howie pick, for example), the answer for most of them would be... ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Also, a person in Douglas' position isn't just evaluating draft picks. He was also involved in talent evaluations on free agents and potential trade targets. In other words, draft batting average is merely one of many ways to judge him, though obviously, it's an important one.
Still, you know what? It's freaking June 3, and I write like a dozen things a week this time of year, so just humor me, OK? Cool, thanks.
• DE Derek Barnett, Round 1: Barnett is a good player who has already made his share of big plays in critical moments.
• CB Sidney Jones, Round 2: The evaluation of Jones was easy enough. He was one of the best corners in a draft loaded with defensive back talent. The question was whether he would fully recover from a torn Achilles, and his ability to stay healthy thereafter. So far, not so good.
• CB Rasul Douglas, Round 3: Douglas has been a backup throughout his career thus far, but he has shown that he's a legitimate corner with starter potential.
• WR Mack Hollins, Round 4: Grabbing a standout special teamer with some upside as a receiver in the fourth round was a good idea, but it's not the front office's fault the Eagles' medical staff interned under Dr. Nick Riviera. Or maybe it is? Anyway, Hollins still has a chance to make it in the NFL, assuming he's still alive.
• RB Donnel Pumphrey, Round 4: The Eagles over-drafted a highly productive college player with high school size/athletic measurables.
• WR Shelton Gibson, Round 5: Gibson possessed one very intriguing skill (deep ball tracking), but his overall game needed plenty of refinement. A fifth-round flier was worth it, in my view. While Gibson obviously hasn't panned out as a receiver yet, he at least has contributed on special teams.
• LB Nate Gerry, Round 5: Core special teamer, shaky when he has played in the regular defense.
• DT Elijah Qualls, Round 6: Now playing for the Carolina Panthers.
• TE Dallas Goedert, Round 2: The question with Goedert prior to the draft was whether his skills would translate from the small school level to the pros. They do! After a very promising rookie season, Goedert has a chance to be a really, really good tight end.
• CB Avonte Maddox, Round 4: Maddox played outside corner, slot corner, and safety as a rookie, and looks like a steal where the Eagles drafted him.
• DE Josh Sweat, Round 4: Many thought at the time the Eagles drafted Sweat that he could become a steal. Not yet. Certainly a player with Sweat's athletic measureables were worth a fourth-round flier.
• OL Matt Pryor, Round 6: Solid pick in the sixth. Guard-tackle versatile lineman who shined in training camp, but came back down to earth in the preseason games. He'll need to take a big step forward this offseason.
• OT Jordan Mailata, Round 7: At a minimum, he's been a fun player to cover, because he's such an oddball story. His next step may end up being the successor to Halapoulivaati Vaitai as the team's swing tackle, and then who knows.
• OT Andre Dillard (Round 1), RB Miles Sanders (Round 2), WR J.J. Arcega-Whiteside (Round 2), DE Shareef Miller (Round 4), QB Clayton Thorson, (Round 5): Obviously, we can't judge these players yet on pro-level on-field play yet, but that doesn't stop dorks like me from grading the Eagles' draft. I gave them a B-. I thought most of the players they picked were good value and fit the team, but quibbled a bit with the fact they only made five picks in each of the last two drafts.
Draft analysts mostly liked the Eagles' haul.
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